We have our first "footprints in the snow" dumb criminal story of the year! Huzzah! It's the official beginning of winter 'round these parts.
As we've dutifully chronicled in the past, we love nothing more than a criminal who is tracked down by the dogged authorities because they left their traces via footprints in the snow, which leaves cops with the difficult task of simply following the yellow-brick road to their suspect.
According to a report from the department, a resident reported on Saturday that two mountain bikes worth $300 each and $1,400 worth of cordless tools, batteries and chargers were missing from his property. The deputy followed footprints left behind in the snow to a mobile home in the Edgewood Trailer Park.
A check of a storage shed located behind the trailer yielded the two missing bicycles, along with a third BMX bicycle with snow still on its tires. Inside the mobile home, the deputy, while questioning a 45-year-old occupant, noticed chargers and batteries fitting the description of the stolen items. Deputies heard a banging noise from a bedroom and found therein a 25-year-old male wanted on an arrest warrant from the Ashtabula Police Department.
Deputies also found the 18-year-old son of the mobile home’s occupant hiding under a bed, along with three other males — two 17 and one 18 — hiding in the bedroom of the 18-year-old.
Only the 45-year-old and 25-year-old have charges pending from the incident — obstructing business and receiving stolen goods — and the investigation continues into who exactly was the sticky-fingered, heavy-footed bandit that actually made off the with the goods.
An overly suspicious neighbor called the police, according to Strongsville Patch, after noticing nearly a dozen people wandering around in ghostly black robes. "She said they regularly host meetings and she believes they are involved in some kind of cult," Patch's Debbie Palmer writes.
When officers arrived, they found their time had been bountifully wasted. The cultish family was, in fact, hosting a Christmas party. They were garbed in tuxedos and black dresses.
Note to neighbor: Put down the Harry Potter. And the bong.
[UPDATE, via Donna Miller:] The man had attempted to rob a 50-year-old woman following breakfast this morning. When the woman resisted and held on to her purse, the man shot her in the head with a handgun. He soon fled the scene. "We found him hiding in nearby woods," Lt. Patrick O'Callahan said. The woman's wounds do not seem to be life-threatening, according to police.
- ODOT and the city of Cleveland received their due props for a fairly solid storm response throughout yesterday. Leave your opinion on the matter in the comments section below.
- Terry Pluto is doing his "muttering-to-myself" schtick, putting the spotlight on Brandon Weeden's much-debated year so far. The gist? "When it comes to Weeden, I'm lukewarm mostly because I don't have a better idea at the moment," Pluto writes.
There’s no denying Trans-Siberian Orchestra — the prog rock group that has toured behind elaborate holiday concerts for over a decade now — puts on a stunning visual display. Yesterday at the first of two shows the group played at Quicken Loans Arena, the band delivered a bit of everything. It arrived on stage with a blast of smoke and fire as LED lights cast everything in a dim blue glow. And that was just the band’s entrance. Throughout the evening, the group would use its elaborate lighting rig to project images on a series of video screens, at times making it look as if holographic images were hovering over the stage. Toward the nearly 3 hour-long concert’s end, a couple of players ran to the soundboard where they stood atop risers that lifted them into the rafters. It was all very impressive and kept the concert moving at a good clip.
Yes, yes: We rank pretty high on the Grinch Conversion Index. To wit, Cleveland's jolly as hell all year 'round and fully capable of talking down resident Grinches.
Trenton, N.J., meanwhile, takes top honors in the GCI. Yuma, Ariz., ranked at the bottom. Though the criteria listed below were all considered, we rank this survey at the top of our Arbitrary Holiday Schtick Index.
- Population density: "greater amount of merry people within an area"
- Costume rental stores per capita: "the Grinch can get his Santa disguise"
- Selected retail outlets per capita: "more presents for the Grinch to steal and eventually return"
- Meat markets per capita: "for the roast beast"
- Musicians, singers, music directors, and composers per capita: "to first annoy, then touch the Grinch's heart with singing"
- Night-time light: "to draw the Grinch's attention"
- Hospitals per capita: "for the Grinch when his heart grows 'three sizes that day'
While we've all been through this before, these sorts of hyped-up blizzards tend to send everyone into uncontrollable spasms - most unfortunately on Northeast Ohio's highways.
The city of Cleveland is urging private sector employers to release workers around 1 p.m. Government employees are expected to leave work around 2:30 p.m., so be aware of the potential for traffic congestion.
Stay safe out there today and study up on what readers have said is the most important thing to keep in mind during the madness:
There's an effort under way to get our fair state to kill the cap on the alcohol-by-volume ratio (ABV). Currently, the sale of beers containing more than 12 percent alcohol is not permitted in Ohio.
According to Topher Michael of Columbus, "The people of the Great State of Ohio believes (sic) that this cap is completely arbitrary. It does not in anyway (sic) define a beer."
He's got 230 people on his side as of Dec. 25, with a goal of 1,000 by the new year.
A roundup of liquor laws by state shows a surprising disparity among our geography.
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